A complaint that at this point is close to two decades old is the lack of proper etiquette (which used to be called "netiquette") and decorum by most new users to the internet. It’s safe to say we’ll never get back to how the internet used to be in terms of etiquette and network standards, especially considering most of you who read this will think, "Wait a minute.. there were etiquette and network standards?"
In summary: The September That Never Ended, a.k.a. Eternal September, stems all the way back to September 1993; that was the time when AOL users gained the ability to post to Usenet newsgroups. From there the quality of discussions on newsgroups took a complete nosedive because of all the newbie users who had absolutely no clue what the etiquette and network standards were, nor did AOL at any time ever teach them this information, nor did the "AOL’ers" even care.
Prior to the influx of those AOL’ers, September was the time when a whole bunch of college freshman from across the country started using Usenet for the first time, learned (the hard way) what the communication standards were, and by the end of that month everything went back to normal. But when the AOL’ers came on the scene, they simply never learned at all.
Eternal September has a clock counting the days since Sep 1993 when the supposed ruination of Usenet happened.
What exactly were the standards?
The standards varied depending on the newsgroup you were posting to, but an example of a general rule set is here. You’ll notice that much of what that web page states applies to email even today.
For example, even now in 2012 there are STILL PEOPLE WHO TYPE IN ALL CAPS LIKE A MORON, have no clue how to write a proper descriptive subject, have absolutely no idea how to quote properly, use stupidly long ridiculous signatures, and so on.
Most people don’t use Usenet newsgroups anymore (especially considering several major ISPs have dropped access to it altogether), but almost two decades later we still have the same problems, except now they’re in email.
The struggle continues.
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